Share documents with visitors

Invite people who don’t have Google accounts to collaborate on your Google Drive files and folders as visitors. You control who can edit, comment on or view the file. You can also stop sharing the file at any time.

Collaborate as a visitor

When you get an invitation to collaborate on a Google file, you must verify your identity with a PIN. After that, you can collaborate on the shared file or folder for 7 days. If you need to collaborate longer, you can use the link from the original sharing email to verify your identity again.

  1. In your email inbox, open the email from Google.
  2. Click Open.
  3. Click Send.
  4. In your email inbox, open the verification code email.
  5. Copy the verification code.
  6. Return to the other browser tab and enter the verification code in the box provided.
  7. Click Next.

You can now view, comment or edit the shared Google file or folder. Learn how to add, edit, reply or delete comments.

Tip: To find the document again, open the email from Google.

Share with visitors

Once visitor sharing has been turned on for your organisation, you can share documents with non-Google accounts as normal. Visitors can edit, comment on or view your document for 7 days after they verify their email address. If they need to collaborate longer, they can use the link from the original sharing email to verify their identity again. Contact your administrator to find which select accounts you can share.

Important: If you use a Google Workspace Business Starter or Frontline account, you can share files with up to five people who don't have Google accounts each month.

  1. On your computer, log in to your work or school account.
  2. Go to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets or Slides.
  3. Click the file you want to share.
  4. Click Share Share.
  5. Under ‘Share with people and groups’, enter the email address you want to share with and press Enter.
  6. To change what people can do to your doc, on the right, click Drop-down and then Viewer, Commenter or Editor.
  7. Click Send.

File types that you can share with a non-Google domain
  • Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, Images, PDFs and Office files
  • Folders
Remove a non-Google domain user

You can take away a visitor's access at any time.

  1. On a computer, log in to your work or school account.
  2. Go to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets or Slides.
  3. Click on the file that's shared with a visitor.
  4. At the top right, click Share and then Advanced.
  5. Next to the visitor, click RemoveRemove.
  6. Click Save changes and then Done.

Delete your visitor session

You can delete your visitor session at any time. When you delete your visitor session, your name is removed and all your changes and comments are attributed to an unknown user. 

Important: If you delete your visitor session, you'll lose access to files that have been shared with you. To regain access, the files must be shared with you again.

  1. Sign in to your visitor session using the 'Invitation to [Edit/Comment/View]' email from Google.
  2. In the top right, click your initial.
  3. Click Delete visitor session.
  4. Click Send.
  5. In your email inbox, open the verification code email.
  6. Enter the verification code in the box provided and then click Next.
  7. Click the tick box and then click Delete.

Create a Google Account

After you delete your visitor session, you can create a Google Account or sign up for Google Workspace. You can use your Google Account to create your own documents, spreadsheets, slides and more. 

Tip: After you create your Google Account, you can ask the owner of any files you worked on as a visitor to share those files with you.

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